Posts Tagged ‘BJJ’

Message from Helio Gracie himself, watch link:


1) Gracie Jiu Jitsu is for everyone, small, big, nonathletic, women, children.  Don’t be afraid to try it.

2) Food is our defense against disease.  The global food supply is not healthy.  The Gracie way of eating will keep you healthy.  Get a copy of the The Gracie Diet, Rorion Gracie, Amazon.com.

3) Jiu Jitsu brings peace and will make you a better person.


Note, I don’t make any money from this, zero, nor any money from this blog.  I am not paid to write this blog or told to write it.

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This week in advance grappling class, we worked on sweeps from the guard.   There were four sweeps we worked on, all from fundamentals:

1) Scissor Sweep.  when opponent posture’s up.

2) Elevator Sweep,  when opponent posts a leg

3) Guard Turnover, I don’t remember the opponents position.

4) Fall back from the guard, when the opponent escapes the guard to a standing position.

As far as drills, we would take turns being the opponent and make various positions to escape and the person doing the guard would use the appropriate sweep. Then we worked on combinations of sweeps with chokes and fakes with sweeps/choke attacks.

Because of a lower back injury, I have been taking it easy.  It’s a dull nagging pain which I feel every time I walk,  when I roll over in bed, or get out of bed.   Last week I aggravated it when I was paired up with a guy more than 110 lbs my body weight.  I guess I was the closest guy to in weight and height on that day.

I am turning 45 next month.  I noticed that I have lost some muscle mass.   I have been looking at Ensure since they claim that they have a formula to regrow lost muscle tissue.  I may give it a try.   Grey hair is coming in. New wrinkles.  When your in your twenties and thirties, the idea of death doesn’t even enter the mind but when you hit forty, the idea of death enters the mind. The day will arrive.

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boxing clinchHave you ever seen a heavy weight boxing match that goes into late rounds where two fighters clinch out of exhaustion?   After a few seconds, the audience would start to boo, a referee would separate the fighters, and then they would do the clinch a few more times.    Sometimes a fighter would get a second wind and go onto a knock out, but more times than not, the win would be called by a judge.  Boxer clinching occurs often in a street fight; thus, the technique of Esqrima  was reviewed this week.

Esgrima means in Portuguese,  fencing.  This was when two fighters were in the clinch,  one arm over over the opponet’s arm grabbing the back of the bicep, and the other through the arm pit grabbing the back of the shoulder tightly.   If the opponent escaped the clinch, there was danger of an elbow strike.  The head should be tight to the opponent’s shoulder.   Esgrima was a drill when two fighters switch position from shoulder to opposite shoulder without losing position hence the analogy of fencing, back and forth.  We practiced switching sides three times then attempted a cinturada, a throw.  The key, was when the opponent’s shoulder holding arm was not held tight.  This would allow the shoulder hand to easily slip down to the lower back and grap the top of the bicip holding hand, then with the head, over the heart area, presses into the chest while pulling.  This would cause the opponet to fall to the floor.  If the opponent hikes the hips out, then Osto Gari, lift one leg and turn.

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Probably not the arm bar your familiar with.  This week, we learned the arm bar from the guard.  It is not like most arm bars because the finish was with the body to the side.    The reason for the finish to the side was to avoid a strong man from having the ability to body slam.  Since the arm bar was from the side, an opponent couldn’t lift you into the air for the purpose of a body slam.  This was a brilliant move by Helio Gracie.  If there was a move that I want to perfect it would be the guard arm bar Helio style.

Here are the steps:  Start with the opponent in the closed guard.  The opponent breaks free and does a one handed throat choke.  1) grab the choke arm with a tight baseball bat grip.  2) immediately open the guard legs.  3) The opposite of the held arm, put foot on hip of opponent.  * 4) The hip stays in place and the body stretch back while the free leg comes over the arm.  5) Break arm.

As of writing this post, I am currently a three striped blue belt.  I may have missed a detail. In any case,  I recommend seeking expert instruction.

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bjj SamuraiWhat is important is the goal, purple belt.  That is what I keep telling my self.  I miss a class or a week because of sickness, family, injury etc.  Organize my thoughts, heal up, fight back the fear, and get back on the path. Stop thinking. One step after the next.

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For the longest time, I have been practicing the shoulder grab self defense incorrectly.  What exactly is the shoulder grab defense?  It is a shoulder dislocating technique against an unsuspecting attacker.

As a practice partner, as the attacker, my first mistake was not grabbing the defending person correctly. Improper grab position. The shoulder grab is closer to the neck than to the bony part of the shoulder.  Second, the grab is an  aggressive attempt to unbalance the defender.   Once the defender maintains base, or regains base, meaning the atttacker can’t drag the defender around, that’s when the move is executed.

Once the defender has gained base, that’s when the defender wraps around the attacker’s grabbing arm and punches down towards the floor.   From the punch, the attacker’s arm is cradled by the punching down arm with an underhand grip by the wrist.  From the wrist grab,   the defender lifts up  with all their body weight to the ceiling.  At a certain point, the attacker’s shoulder should be dislocated.  A mistake I made was cradling the arm on the stomach.  To max leverage don’t cradle the attacker’s arm on the stomach, leave a little space. Second, really punch down with force.  Lastly, cradle the attacker’s arm under the elbow.

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Fine tuning the Mata Leon. If you want to get a good mata leon choke, make sure your choke arm is deep and the elbow of your arm lines up with your opponents chin and underneath. The choke arm makes a v shape. Once you have that, grab your bicep. With the free hand, monkey grip the back of the opponent’s head. Before, I did the Mata Leon by placing the back of my hand on the opponent’s head. That was bad technique. When the opponent is being choked, they will reach, grab, for the hands in desperation. If the hand, on the neck is cupped, then they have nothing to grab. Squeeze. Beware the opponent, may get off a punch but will soon be knocked out.

Changing topic a bit, I also learned a new throw, Kouchi gari, another tool for the arsenal. I also learned how to escape the classical judo pin. The classical judo pin was a side mount, one wrapped arm under the elbow and wrapped head with the legs scissor kicked in front. Ironically, with a 30 second pin, I had won third place in the Midwest Regional Judo Tournament in Chicago in the late 70s. I was amazed how easy it was to escape the classic judo pin.

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With proper hip throwing technique, I consistently lifted a 260 lbs off the floor at least five times and I didn’t injury myself.  Because of all the intense stretching, iyengar yoga,  I have been doing outside of bjj twice a week, the stretching is now paying off in reducing injuries. I also have a lot less back pain.  A general observation is that I noticed that when I go beyond three times a week of jiu jitsu practice, my body starts getting chewed up or injured.

This month, we are working on jiu jitsu ground defense.  We learned keeping the elbows in and the hands cupped under the chin. If you’re not taking advanced grappling, your sparring game will develop slowly.

On Friday, A dermatologist took two biopsies, one from my face and one from forehead. a little smaller than a quarter-inch square.  Sort of shocked by it all. I tan easy.  The results will be in next week.

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Shocker! The throwing class has great defenses against wrestling take downs.  Apparently, the throwing class wasn’t just throwing.  A few months ago I was talking smack in the locker room with a purple belt about the throwing class. I told the guy, Don, I didn’t see the need for the throwing class because the fundamentals class was all that I needed.  At least that was what I wrongly thought.   I stayed for the throwing class on Tuesday, which was taught by Ramon Sanchez, ex Cuban National judo olympian.  Ramon taught us some useful judo defense techniques against the single leg and double leg take downs that impressed me. Students that go to throwing have an advantage over those that don’t go. 

During the randori part of the throwing class. I changed it up with the partners.  I got this idea from a judo blog.  After the throw, my partner and I would spar for a pin.  The object in judo was to throw the opponent completely in the air.  Ippon. That was not my objective.  My object was to land in the mounted position, knee on belly, or close to it. I remembered three throws, my 210 lb opponent landed on the floor and rolled away from me.  I didn’t have control, but that was a good move for an escape but not a submission.  The second guy was smaller. I landed in the side mount but got the pin.  Third, knee on belly, knees into arm pits, the ideal situation.

Tuesday was an amazing day of training in the advance grappling class as well, taught by Professor Pedro jr.  Part of the training, I had Walter as my training partner,  an ex Brazilian mma fighter and jiu jitsu black belt since 1994.   Great training and instruction.   Tuesday was the last day of attacks from the side mount. I learned an arm lock that I later saw on the show, The Shield.

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I had a great class on Tuesday, the advanced grappling. We worked on a pin and a technique to maintain it. I am feeling confident I could keep the Russian strongman pinned with the technique we just learned, unless he out smarted me. It is a fact that Russian’s are great fans of chess which jiu jitsu is similar. I have to depend on technique. Professor Pedro is going to teach the nine pins in the coming weeks which is something I knew about when I was a kid, they didnt teach everything at onetime, but wanted to learn but didn’t. So, I am looking forward to the coming weeks. That was the only class I could make because of the flu. I got it from my kids.

Anti aging stuff. I wouldn’t recommend Flex-a-min double strength, glucosamine. I’m now trying Kirkland Glucosamine HCI 1500mg with MSM 1500mg, 375 tablets, 2 times a day. This has 3x MSM than flexamin and it was 3 tablets a day. Side note, Costco, besides selling cheapest gas in the area, they have great supplements at low prices.

I started taking two baby aspirin, Kirkland, 162 mg, at bed time. There are some risks which you should consult a doctor before starting this.

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